Flip through current home design magazines, and you’ll likely see spaces that feature bright and glossy surface finishes. A front door, ceiling, or bookcase topped with a high gloss paint attracts attention and becomes the best kind of talking point, one that leaves visitors impressed and you happy with your investment.
H.J. Holtz & Son master painter Kenny Ebright approaches each job the same way: hearing from homeowners what they want, assessing the situation, and getting to work.
When the firm was called in by a repeat Holtz customer to help finish the transformation of a 12-foot-by-15-foot bedroom into a high gloss library, complete with floor-to-ceiling built-ins, Ebright knew he had his work cut out for him.
When Nick and Lee Ann bought their home in Richmond’s Fan district earlier this year, they knew it was solidly constructed but poorly finished.
“In my opinion, previous owners cheapened the house by failing to hire high-quality finishing contractors,” he says. “The bones of the house are pretty darn good, and the overall condition was good, but the house suffered for a number of years with poor paint jobs over poor paint jobs.”
Nick and Lee Ann were aware of H.J. Holtz & Son’s reputation, but they did their due diligence before calling the company for an estimate.
Shannon Thompson laughs as she recalls that H. J. Holtz & Son team members initially spent more time in her new home than she did.
Thompson and her husband, Christopher, bought the house in Richmond’s Westmoreland Place neighborhood at the end of December 2018. They were moving from New York City to Richmond to be close to family, but at the time of purchase were spending the winter in Florida. Their time away created the perfect opportunity to redecorate the house from top to bottom with little dislocation.
When Kristen Ziegler purchased her 1920 row house nearly a decade ago, she knew she had a project on her hands.
Ziegler turned to Holtz & Son last year, because the solo painter she had initially hired for the home’s interior had retired. She was ready to paint the exterior – “the icing on the cake,” as she puts it – and needed a trustworthy partner.
Laura Strickler admits that she enjoys being a do-it-yourselfer.
“I’m confident in my own decorating skills, and I like to paint,” she says. “But I knew I couldn’t do all this.”
“All this” refers to the improvements Strickler wanted to complete before April 26, 2022, when her house will be open to the public during Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week.
Strickler says her needs were varied: a refresh on interior walls, repainted kitchen cabinets, and a full exterior paint job – plus accumulated carpentry fixes. Because she had worked with H.J. Holtz & Son on a smaller job years ago, she felt comfortable calling the company again.
H.J. Holtz & Son Production Manager Kelly Kutchey recalls a recent project in which the Holtz team was hired to correct painting problems in a brand-new house.
“The builder hired a painter for cost-efficiency, and we were called later to fix all sorts of issues,” he said. “The painter hadn’t properly prepared the trim for painting by filling in nail holes and caulking; some areas also clearly weren’t primed. Trim work should always be [painted] using a nice brush; this house trim was painted with a thick roller … it looked like it had 40 coats of paint. The homeowner wasn’t happy.”
Paula Holm called H.J. Holtz & Son because her contractor said so.
Holm and her husband, George, were working with Mark Franko, of Mark Franko Custom Building, to expand their kitchen and add a club room on the lower level, similar to the one they have in their vacation home.
“I knew I wanted to do the lacquer painting,” she says. “Once we started talking about that, Mark said [Rick Holtz was] who we have to talk with. Honestly, we didn’t even consider anyone else. They’re so knowledgeable.”
The same forces that led to runs on basic supplies a year ago – increased demand and blockages in the supply chain – are now driving significant increases in paint cost. H.J. Holtz & Son President Rick Holtz says it’s been hard to watch the steady climb.